Flyers Notes: 4-minute Penalty Kill ‘massive' in Win Over Leafs

A four-minute penalty kill in the opening period of a scoreless game against the No. 2-ranked power play in the NHL.

A couple of weeks ago, that would have been a disaster for the Flyers.

On this night, however, it was the inspiration they needed during a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the second wild-card spot on the line (see game recap).

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"Killing off that penalty was massive for us," Travis Konecny said postgame Thursday. "I think everyone's been saying it all year, our PK has been unbelievable in killing off those penalties. It just sets the tone for us when we come back and get that big goal, and it just turns the game around for us."

Wayne Simmonds logged 1:26 of kill time. It provided his own momentum to score the first goal of the game even strength two shifts later.

"We weren't the greatest the first couple of minutes of play," Simmonds said. "But when you get a penalty kill, you usually look for the penalty kill to reverse your fortunes.

"That's kind of what happened, but we were able to relieve their pressure and get pucks out. We kept our shifts short so we could rotate a lot of guys through. It really worked out."

The latest break
When the Flyers went into their five-day bye week recently, they did so under the worst of circumstances - four losses over their previous five games.

Now they go into the All-Star break with three wins. That said, back-to-back breaks the same month seem ridiculous. The schedule should have been spread out better to make the bye week both logical and useful.

"It's a break from routine, obviously," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "The last one was a little different. That was new for everybody - the five-day break. I got a chance to get away for a day. As a staff, we got a chance to get a lot of work done. I don't find it frustrating. It's a fact of life, it's part of the schedule.

"We came out of the break and I feel we've played three pretty good hockey games, including the New Jersey game, even though we didn't get the result. We made a couple fatal mistakes that cost us the game. … [We'll] use the opportunity to come back healthy and refreshed and get right back into it for the stretch run."

Hakstol took just one day off the last break. He spent it with his wife, Erinn, in New York City. They didn't go up there, however, to check out Broadway.

"My wife and I took one day away for a little day trip," he said. "It was a great day. One of things we did was we went to the 9/11 Memorial, which I had not been to before.

"You talk about gaining perspective. We spent three or four hours there. It was a great day. I'll leave the rest in private."

Hakstol plans to take two days off this coming weekend but wouldn't say what he has planned.

Feeling good
Steve Mason goes into the All-Star break feeling pretty good about himself after two victories, one of which was a shutout of the Rangers.

That is a lot better than he felt less than two weeks ago going into the five-day bye week after losing, 5-0, at Washington.

"It's good to have him going well," Hakstol said. "He has been a big part of our last two wins. Last night, first half of the game, he was the best player on the ice and gave us a chance to get going.

"It's important to have a goaltender be able to do that for you on the road in a tough building and he did a great job. He has a four-day break and, hopefully, he comes back in a great frame of mind."

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